South Sudan + 1 more

South Sudan UNHCR Operational Update 03/2016, 1-15 February 2016

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sudanese new arrivals increase in Unity State - In Yida, UNHCR registered 609 new arrivals from Sudan’s South Kordofan during the reporting period. Another 60 were registered in Ajuong Thok. More than 80 percent are women and some 10 percent are children. They reported hunger as the main reason for fleeing to South Sudan. Since the beginning of the year, UNHCR cumulatively registered 1,787 Sudanese new arrivals in Unity. In the first two weeks of February, 428 refugees were relocated from Yida to Ajuong Thok, bringing the total number since the beginning of the year to 1,276.

  • Assessment in Unity State’s Thonyor finds IDPs in great need of assistance - On 5-8 February, UNHCR carried out a protection assessment in opposition controlled Thonyor, southern Unity State. Following resumption of humanitarian operations in December 2015, thousand of civilians have returned to Thonyor. The needs of the population are enormous, with shelter, food and non-food items being a priority.

  • Sudanese refugees relocate to Lasu refugee camp - UNHCR and its partners the Commission for Refugees Affairs (CRA) and ACROSS completed the relocation of 502 Sudanese refugees from Yei town to Lasu refugee camp.
    Upon arrival, refugees received food and non-food items and plots of land to enable them settle in the camp.

OPERATIONAL CONTEXT

  • On 11 February, through presidential decree number 60, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir appointed opposition leader Riek Machar as First Vice President of the country in accordance with the power sharing provisions in the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS). Kiir removed James Wani Igga from the position of Vice President and reappointed him to the position of Second Vice President, ranking below Machar. The president gave a 7-day ultimatum for Machar to return to Juba and form a unity government with him. However, Machar said he would return only when the security arrangements are in place, including demilitarization of the capital and transfer of 2,910 opposition forces to Juba. Machar called on the international community to transport his forces, with the United Kingdom offering to undertake such a task. At this state, it is not clear how long it will take for the opposition forces to deploy in Juba and whether President Kiir will put on hold his plan to rush the formation of the government.

  • Fighting continued between Sudan’s People Liberation Army (SPLA) and opposition forces in Greater Mundri counties of Western Equatoria State. According to media reports, SPLA launched an offensive in late January and on 14 February entered Medewu base, the headquarters of the opposition’s commander on the ground in Mundri West County, forcing the opposition forces to tactically withdraw from the area. On the same day, the government reportedly deployed more forces from Maridi and Yambio.

  • On 5 February, following the adoption of the NGO Bill by the National Legislative Assembly, the humanitarian community through OCHA issued a statement calling on the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to ensure that the Bill is submitted to a process of public consultation following the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU). Member countries of the European Union (EU) have also expressed deep concerns about the negative impact of the bill on NGOs.

  • On 8 February, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Technical Working Group released its December’s Update. According to the report, an estimated 2.8 million people or 23 percent of the population will face acute food and nutrition insecurity (IPC Phases 3, 4 and 5) between January and March 2016. The bulk of this acutely food insecure population (57 percent) is located in the Greater Upper Nile states of Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile. Unity State remains the most affected because of continued fighting that has displaced large populations and disrupted their livelihoods. Some 40,000 people are likely to be facing Catastrophe in Mayendit, Koch and Guit counties between January and March and are in need of urgent food and other humanitarian assistance.

  • On 8 February, SPLA chief General Paul Malong Awan warned of possible unrest in the country, should he and those serving the cabinet and army be removed from posts as part of the formation of the TGoNU. The army chief left Juba on 5 February with more than five serving army generals from his home area Aweil, in Northern Bahr al Ghazal.